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'Bring it on': Emirates airline boss welcomes Saudi competition

Emirates Airline president Tim Clark says there is a long way to go for Saudi airlines and other competitors
— Dubai (AFP)

The UAE's Emirates airline does not feel threatened by ambitious expansion plans in neighbouring Saudi Arabia and welcomes increased competition, its president said on Tuesday.

Saudi Arabia has announced a new national carrier, Riyadh Air, and a big new airport in the capital to handle up to 120 million travellers per year.

But Emirates president Tim Clark, who put the cost of the plans at $2.5-3 trillion, said there was a long way to go for Saudi airlines and other competitors, including Air India which ordered 470 Airbus and Boeing planes in February.

"You've now got Saudi Arabia announcing these huge plans, the likes of which nobody's really seen before," Clark told journalists at the Arabian Travel Market industry fair in Dubai.

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